Lawsuits against USA Gymnastics, Larry Nassar, etc. - news & updates

nimi

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Houston Chronicle article : Walker County will subpoena USA Gymnastics documents
USA Gymnastics acknowledged Thursday that documents sought by Walker County officials investigating the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal might be present at its offices in Indianapolis, and Walker County prosecutors said they would subpoena the documents.

ESPN: Documents show financial impact of Nassar scandal on USA Gymnastics
According to a report from The New York Times on Thursday, the discovery of missing documents that were key to the Nassar scandal and sought by Texas law-enforcement officials led the USOC to take the step. The Times reported the documents were found by USAG officials in their main offices in Indianapolis.

Scott Reid, who wrote the ORC article about AOGC and decertification, is the guest on the new Gymnastic podcast episode: USAG and The Case of the Missing Documents

Here's the short version in tweet form for those who don't want listen to podcasts:
Why is all this happening now? Aly Raisman has a trial date, and in the words of @OtotheBeirne, "USAGym is not going to want to go to court." And in the words of @sreidocregister, "More than anything, the USOC doesn't want them to go to court."
 
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Artistic Skaters

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The NY Times has a lengthy article today with comments from Dominique Moceanu & Morgan White, along with information about Mary Lee Tracy.

*** ‘Seriously, You Chose Her?’: U.S.A. Gymnastics’ Trouble at the Top :
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/10/sports/-usa-gymnastics-scandal-.html
As the federation enters a phase that may lead to its demise, longtime gymnasts remain befuddled over the mismanaged hiring. For them, the choices, most emblematically the Tracy decision, illustrated a continuing dysfunction in an organization they see as incapable of understanding the drastic changes needed to create a healthy environment for gymnasts at every level.

A cursory search of the internet would have revealed Tracy defending Nassar and calling him “amazing” in a 2016 television interview — after the first wave of accusations against him, from more than 50 athletes, was made public. Diligent outreach to gymnasts who trained under Tracy, or those who knew her athletes, would most likely have uncovered allegations of a physically and emotionally abusive atmosphere at her gym.

A spokesman for U.S.A. Gymnastics declined to comment on the hiring process for Tracy.
 

VGThuy

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I remember reading Moceanu's tell-all book and was kind of disappointed when she barely mentioned her stint with Mary Lee Tracy. In the past two decades I've been a gymnastics fan, I've heard nothing but true horror stories about her.
 

Yehudi

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It seems USAG was in contact with Indy Police all along.

https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2018/11/11/usa-gymnastics-larry-nassar-sexual-abuse-scandal-impd-detective-bruce-smith-conduct-under-review/1693853002/

Indianapolis police are investigating the conduct of a detective who worked behind the scenes to defend USA Gymnastics while it was in the midst of a broadening child sexual abuse scandal.

He was not just any detective.

Bruce Smith was supervisor of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s Child Abuse Unit at the time. He also is a friend of then-USA Gymnastics President and CEO Steve Penny.
 

Debbie S

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Is Steve Penny in the mafia? Seriously, this guy seems to have friends everywhere who will stop at nothing to save his @ss.
 

Aceon6

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Is Steve Penny in the mafia? Seriously, this guy seems to have friends everywhere who will stop at nothing to save his @ss.
More like very well connected to some very rich and/or powerful people. That’s the only explanation of why his helium lasted so long.
 

Aceon6

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The new episode of the Believed podcast is up. It's called Gaslighting.
 

Artistic Skaters

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*** The Women Who Took Down Larry Nassar on Life After the Ruling :
https://www.glamour.com/story/the-women-who-took-down-larry-nassar-on-life-after-the-ruling
At Glamour's 2018 Women of the Year Summit, a group of women who helped take down former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar—accused of years of sexual abuse—came together on stage to discuss the extensive challenges they faced, before the trial and after his conviction and sentencing. As Glamour executive editor Wendy Naugle, who moderated the conversation, said in her introduction, "They've changed the way we talk about sexual assault and abuse in this country."
There is also an article in the OCRegister today about USOC, USAG & Steve Penny asking the court to deny Aly Raisman's access to the law firm's work from the independent investigation. I reached my limit for free articles & can't read it. Further information would be appreciated if anyone reads it.
 

skatfan

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*** The Women Who Took Down Larry Nassar on Life After the Ruling :
https://www.glamour.com/story/the-women-who-took-down-larry-nassar-on-life-after-the-ruling

There is also an article in the OCRegister today about USOC, USAG & Steve Penny asking the court to deny Aly Raisman's access to the law firm's work from the independent investigation. I reached my limit for free articles & can't read it. Further information would be appreciated if anyone reads it.
Here are the money quotes (link to article):

Mitchell Kamin, an attorney representing the USOC, wrote in a Nov. 12 letter to Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi that the motion by Raisman’s attorneys would “impair” the Ropes & Gray investigation of Nassar. The two sides also disagree on whether there is a stay in the case on discovery beyond the court jurisdiction over the case.

The USOC hired Ropes & Gray earlier this year to conduct an investigation into “not only ‘who knew what when’ and what was done in response” to Nassar’s decades-long abuse of young athletes,” but also the circumstances that contributed to and allowed for Nassar’s abuse to continue for such an extended period of time,” according to the law firm.

Ropes & Gray said the firm is not providing legal advice or acting as attorneys for any individual or organization, has full discretion to conduct the investigation and make factual findings and decide what is included in their report and that there is no attorney-client privilege that is attached to the investigation’s findings.
 

nimi

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^ Ugh. The USOC is gonna USOC.

Aly's attorney's response (from the same article) is :kickass:
Vince W. Finaldi, an attorney for Raisman, wrote to DeMarchi that “the requests are not burdensome nor ‘untimely.’ Ropes & Gray simply just does not want to comply, which is no ground upon it can refuse to do so.”

Finaldi also wrote the witness statements and reports generated by the Ropes & Gray are not protected work product and that other materials requested are not privileged.

“Ropes & Gray denies any role as counsel for USOC or USAG and has publicly stated that it is an independent investigator,” Finaldi wrote. “Further, there is no attorney-client privilege, nor ‘anticipated litigation’ as they claim; litigation has commenced and their investigation, admittedly, has nothing to do with litigation

Finally, some good(ish) news: USA Gymnastics executive Ron Galimore resigns; he helped provide cover story for Larry Nassar
 

Artistic Skaters

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This article has comments from Alyssa Baumann.

*** Nassar survivor: USA Gymnastics told us 'you have to go to treatment every single day' :
https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2018/11/15/larry-nassar-alyssa-baumann-florida-usa-gymnastics-international-federation-gymnastics/2011275002/
Alyssa Baumann, 20, a Plano, Texas, resident now attending the University of Florida, told IndyStar she is the Jane Doe who filed a lawsuit in August in Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois.
The lawsuit claims USA Gymnastics investigated Nassar in 2015 after a coach overheard Baumann talking about the former team doctor's treatments, but that she was not contacted about it until 30 months later.
But Baumann said no one from USA Gymnastics followed up or interviewed her until November 2017, nearly 30 months later. And then, according to the lawsuit, the official who visited her in Florida asked Baumann about the abuse in front of other people.
 

Artistic Skaters

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*** Ex-Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon charged with lying to police about Nassar :
https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/sports/college/2018/11/20/michigan-state-former-president-lou-anna-simon-larry-nassar-criminal-charges/2070314002/
Former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon has been charged with lying to police, making her the third person charged by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office in its investigation of the university related to Larry Nassar.
Simon was charged today in Eaton County District Court with two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts.
 

Willin

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@Winnipeg Yes. It's a felony.

Apparently, despite what she told everyone, she didn't just know there was an investigation against a staff member. No, she knew that it was an investigation into sexual assault allegations against one Larry Nassar.

TBH this makes me so angry. I got to meet her a few times and she was incredibly nice and caring. I got to hear professors talk about how she herself was called a "pussy" and other derogatory terms by high ranking men at MSU for some good choices she made. I can't believe she wasn't defending other women given that. Or, given how men at the university responded to some of her other decisions and how that influenced her actions, maybe she was too scared to act - but as a leader she still should've done something.
 

nimi

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Lansing State Journal just published another, more detailed article about the Lou Anna Simon situation (she faces up to four years in prison)

Police: MSU's Lou Anna Simon attended 2014 meeting where Larry Nassar inquiry was discussed
Kristine Moore, the Title IX investigator who handled the complaint, reached out to Thomashow in May 2014, three weeks after the report was referred to the Title IX office. The next morning, Moore called Paulette Granberry Russell, who at the time was the head of MSU's Title IX office and a senior advisor to Simon, according to the affidavit. They discussed the complaint and following that conversation, Russell emailed Simon to say there was an incident involving a sports medicine doctor.

Three days later, Russell and Simon had a meeting during which the complaint against Nassar was discussed, according to the affidavit.
In decertification news, from USA Today: USA Gymnastics won't give up governing body status, so USOC is starting revocation process
The move does not come as a complete surprise. Despite being informed by the USOC on Nov. 5 that it was beginning the process to revoke its NGB status, known as a Section 8 complaint, USA Gymnastics has continued to operate as if it plans to be around for the long-term.

Earlier this week, it announced it was seeking nominations for its board of directors. In an open letter published Tuesday, board chair Karen Golz said USA Gymnastics was progressing in its search for a new CEO.
USOC Statement Regarding Latest Developments To Section 8 Complaint Against USA Gymnastics from Sarah Hirhsland, excerpt:
A formal timeframe is not described in our bylaws, so I don’t know exactly how long this process may take. At minimum, we expect it will take several weeks, perhaps a few months.

It is important to note that during this process – and per our bylaws – USAG will continue to operate as a fully recognized member NGB of the USOC. We are not shutting down USAG. Nor is the USOC taking over USAG. In the immediate term there are no changes for USAG members or clubs.

Upon conclusion of the process described above, should USAG lose recognition, its future would be decided by the USAG board of directors.

If USAG loses its recognition, the organization would essentially sever its affiliation with the Olympic Movement and as such, the USOC would, on an interim basis, assume control of USAG’s high-performance program. This would ensure that U.S. Olympic gymnasts have the support they need to excel on and off the field of play. As part of that oversight, the USOC would also be responsible for ensuring the fair selection of athletes and teams for so-called “protected competitions” (i.e. major international competitions that serve as qualifying events for the Olympic Games).

ETA: The Case Of The Missing Documents continues, and Scott Reid's article in the OCR about it (Steve Penny ordered Amy White to remove documents from Karolyi Ranch, according to deposition) also contains info about some USOC-related f***ery that's just :wall:
Former USA Gymnastics president Robert Colarossi detailed in an August 2017 deposition how USOC officials first planned to decertify USA Gymnastics in 1999. The USOC move then was in response to a USA Gymnastics plan to suspend members facing allegations of misconduct until an investigation of those allegations was completed. USOC officials said the USA Gymnastics plan violated the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act, passed by Congress in 1978.
 
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judiz

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Alex Naddour has been reinstated by US Gymnastics. He is now allowed to compete and coach.
 

Artistic Skaters

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USAG Chapter 11. Helping victims or putting an end to the airing of the dirty laundry?

*** How USA Gymnastics' Bankruptcy Petition Impacts Larry Nassar Survivors :
https://www.si.com/olympic-gymnastics/2018/12/06/usa-gymnastics-files-for-backruptcy-larry-nassar
The bankruptcy process will effectively place Nassar victims’ lawsuits, as well as other claims brought by actual and potential USAG creditors, on pause. This is significant for a number of reasons. Most important, the pretrial discovery process—whereby witnesses are required to declare under oath their knowledge of Nassar’s interactions with young women and also turn over any relevant emails, texts, social media messages, videos, audio recordings, hand-written notes and other correspondences—will not occur for an indefinite period of time, should it ever occur. Indeed, under bankruptcy law, creditor actions against a so-called “chapter 11 debtor” are automatically stayed (postponed) upon the filing of the bankruptcy petition. They typically remain stayed for the duration of the bankruptcy process.
 

Aceon6

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The last full episode of Believed is up. It goes into more detail about the relationship between Kyle Stephens and her dad and has excerpts of testimony from the sentencing hearing.

There will be an epilogue next week.
 

Sylvia

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https://www.nassarinvestigation.com/en

Report of the Independent Investigation Released
The 233-page independent report, commissioned by a Special Committee of the Board of Directors of the United States Olympic Committee, draws upon over 100 witness interviews and review of over 1.3 million documents.

The independent investigators today [Monday Dec. 10] released a 233-page report that details the findings of their investigation into Larry Nassar’s abuse of hundreds of elite and Olympic gymnasts and other children since the early 1990s. The report, which is being made public in its entirety, is the culmination of a 10-month investigation that included over 100 interviews—many of them with current and former USA Gymnastics and US Olympic Committee employees—and review of over 1.3 million documents, including reports, files, emails, notes and text messages.

---

As a result of the findings of the report, the U.S. Olympic Committee fired chief of sport performance Alan Ashley yesterday -- here's an AP article: http://www.cpr.org/news/story/report-olympic-leaders-reacted-slowly-if-at-all-to-nassar-abuse-allegations
 

nimi

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A gymnastics blogger recaps/reviews the 233-page report: https://balancebeamsituation.com/2018/12/11/things-are-happening-december-11-2018/
The investigation is cathartically damning with regard to USAG’s self-serving, bad-faith interpretation of the Ted Stevens Act and the concept of due process that it hid behind to excuse its despicably lenient, ignorance-based treatment of coaches accused of abuse. The report emphasizes that this approach was based on…nothing at all. USAG had every opportunity to take swift action against members accused of abuse and not wait for a legal process to play out. It chose not to.

Speaking of the USOC and USAG choosing to do nothing, a new bit of information reveals that, in an evaluation by a member of the USOC medical staff at the 2012 Olympics, Larry Nassar was given an “unsatisfactory score” and was recommended not to be included in the staff at further Olympics.

Sports Illustrated "Inspiration of the Year" winner Rachael Denhollander's full statement on the latest USOC developments (video clip): https://twitter.com/SInow/status/1072649544624717827

SI article about her press conference: https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/12/11/rachael-denhollander-usoc-investigation-press-conference-nassar

Denhollander closes with calling for Congress to take action:
It is time for Congress to act. We cannot trust that what is in this report is the full scope of the investigation... Congress needs to step in, and they need to find out what really happened. Because what we are seeing in the gymnastics world is the tip of the iceberg and there are hundreds of children still dependent for protection and for safety on these people and that is unacceptable."

Senator Blumenthal asks FBI to investigate USOC & USAG for their role in the Nassar cover-up; also the FBI itself is being investigated for its own inaction: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/11/sports/usoc-gymnastics-fbi-investigation.html
“As you know, accomplice liability is a federal crime,” Senator Blumenthal wrote in a letter to Christopher A Wray, the F.B.I. director, on Tuesday, before urging the Justice Department to investigate “whether the organization is culpable for the harm caused by Nassar.”
The Justice Department’s inspector general’s office is already investigating the way the F.B.I. handled the matter, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, because the case languished for more than a year at the bureau before it took action.

But now Senator Blumenthal, as well as dozens of survivors of Nassar’s abuse, said it was time for the F.B.I. to dig deeper and for individuals who enabled Nassar to be held accountable.
 
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Artistic Skaters

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The Michigan Attorney General's Office issued an extremely critical report about MSU & Nassar.

*** Special prosecutor: MSU actions 'made it virtually impossible to know' truth about Nassar :
https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/2018/12/21/larry-nassar-michigan-state-university-attorney-general-investigation/2380754002/
In a scathing report on Michigan State University’s handling of sexual assault complaints against Larry Nassar, the Attorney General’s Office said the university’s “culture of indifference and institutional protection” contributed to hundreds of women and girls being sexually abused.

The document, released Friday, says university employees failed to report concerns about Nassar, provides new details of the deeply flawed 2014 Title IX investigation, and shows how top MSU officials tried to stonewall the independent investigation, an extension of an “anti-transparency” culture.
Here is the link to the actual report:
https://www.scribd.com/document/396149705/MSU-Investigation-Status-Update#from_embed
Nassar remains defiant and unrepentant --
For a variety of reasons, Nassar was among the first people interviewed by our
investigators. He offered no helpful information. In fact, it immediately became clear
that his statements of remorse in the courtroom were a farce. Among other things,
he stated that he did nothing wrong in regard to Amanda Thomashow — the survivor
at the center of MSU’s 2014 Title IX investigation into Nassar. He also felt that the
criminal case against him “should have been handled as a medical malpractice case.”
Nassar claimed that he only pleaded guilty because he lost support from the medical
community and his patients after the police discovered reams of child pornography
in his possession. Finally, and contrary to his sworn statement at the time he pleaded
guilty, he was adamant that all of his “treatment” was done for a medical purpose,
not for his own pleasure.
:eek:
 

Erin

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The Michigan Attorney General's Office issued an extremely critical report about MSU & Nassar.

*** Special prosecutor: MSU actions 'made it virtually impossible to know' truth about Nassar :
https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/2018/12/21/larry-nassar-michigan-state-university-attorney-general-investigation/2380754002/

Here is the link to the actual report:
https://www.scribd.com/document/396149705/MSU-Investigation-Status-Update#from_embed

:eek:
MSU appears to be going for the goal of making USAG look good in comparison. (Although to be clear, USAG still sucks too.)
 

Artistic Skaters

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*** Former USA Gymnastics head coach faces multiple misconduct allegations :
https://www.indystar.com/story/news/investigations/2019/01/02/usa-gymnastics-former-coach-sergio-galvez-accused-sexual-misconduct/2225853002/
At least four people have come forward with allegations of misconduct against the former head coach of USA Gymnastics' national tumbling team, according to documents obtained by IndyStar and interviews with two people connected to the situation.

USA Gymnastics forced Sergio Galvez to resign from that role in October, after the first allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. Galvez has denied any wrongdoing.
The first athlete filed a complaint with the U.S. Center for SafeSport on Oct. 18, claiming Galvez sexually, emotionally and physically abused her, records obtained by IndyStar show.
... ...
In her complaint, the athlete said she told the gym owners, Barry and Chrissy Neff, about what she felt was a pattern of sexual and emotional harassment by Galvez. The gym owners did not respond to IndyStar's requests for comment.
 

Artistic Skaters

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*** Michigan State says Engler resignation effective immediately after Nassar comments :
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/michigan-state-says-engler-resignation-effective-immediately-after-nassar-comments-n959711
Michigan State University's Board of Trustees said Thursday that interim president John Engler's resignation is effectively immediately. The board acted a day after Engler said he'd step down next week amid fallout from remarks he made about some victims of former sports doctor and convicted sexual abuser Larry Nassar. Engler, a former Michigan governor, was brought in to help the university recover from the Nassar sexual abuse scandal.
The final straw for the university's governing board came last week when Engler told The Detroit News that Nassar's victims had been in the "spotlight" and are "still enjoying that moment at times, you know, the awards and recognition."
Articles from The Detroit News with further information:

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/01/12/msu-trustee-englers-comments-nassar-victims-ill-advised/2560869002/
https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/01/11/john-engler-rejects-more-nassar-investigations-at-michigan-state-university/2549246002/
 
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Willin

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Good. Engler was never the right person for this and everyone but the Board of Trustees knew it from the start: students, faculty, staff, alumni, reporters, etc. Hopefully the new interim president will use his connections to professors and students alike to represent what the university is actually about, not what the elected BoT wants.
 

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